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Open Access is a publishing model that enables the free online availability of journal articles and scholarship, permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these works, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful, noncommercial purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.
The foundations of Open Access were delineated by:
By reducing barriers to reading, discovery and sharing, Open Access fuels innovation through knowledge transfer. Wider sharing of scientific discoveries and insights accelerates changes, inventions, treatments, and solutions that benefit the world.
Additional resources on the importance of open:
Open Science (or Open Scholarship) is the movement to align research and publication processes with the ideal of advancing collective knowledge and accelerating innovation to benefit all humankind. Open Scholarship makes research outputs and scholarly practices more accessible and inclusive; it emphasizes practices of research, publication, dissemination, and preservation that foster a culture based upon collaboration and sharing.
Want to learn more? Here are a few resources that provide more in-depth information about open access:
The State of OA: A Large-scale Analysis of the Prevalence and Impact of Open Access Articles (Piwowar, Priem, Lariviere, et al.; 2018)